The other shoe has dropped…

Where to begin?

I have been staring at this blank screen for over an hour… and an hour of Isaac’s sleeping time is precious!  So much is happening… so much needs to be said… the words are so crowded in my head that I’m not sure where to begin!

First comes first…  Ryan is getting ready to leave for his deployment to Afghanistan.  I can’t tell you when he leaves, I can’t tell you where he’s going, I won’t even be able to tell you once he’s gone.  I’ll have to stay silent until he reaches his final destination.  What I can say is that by the time you have all recovered from celebrating our country’s Independence day… I’ll be a very different kind of independent.

On top of that sometime in the end of July my mom and dad will be coming for a visit and Isaac and I will be heading back to Phoenix to stay for the duration.  I had originally intended to only be there for the holidays but honestly, why stay in Del Rio?  So we’re going home…

As you can imagine there is a lot to be done… there is a lot going on… there is a lot of stress and a lot of emotion…

As if this wasn’t all bad enough!

At 13:30 CST today Ryan got an email stating that we had been selected for a permanent change of station assignment.  The only other information in that original email was that the selected location was Turkey.

And then information started to trickle in… 

It was a short tour at Izmir Air Base on the Mediterranean Sea.

We would be expected to be there directly after Ryan returns from his deployment.

And then the big blow…

It is a one year unaccompanied tour. 

That’s right folks…  Ryan will return from Afghanistan… we’ll have a few weeks together to get everything in order and close out our life here in Del Rio, TX  and then he will move to Turkey and we will move to Arizona.  As it stands right now the Air Force will move us home for the duration. 

So in a short amount of time Isaac and I will kiss Ryan goodbye and at the same time say goodbye to life as a family for roughly the next 21 months.

Because of Ryan’s career field we don’t qualify for your classic base of preference follow on.  We owe an overseas tour and so will probably move overseas upon his return from Turkey.  The next few years are going to be a CRAZY ride! 

There are some very good aspects to this situation.  The money is going to be amazing.  It will literally change our lives and open up so many opportunities.  The affect this will have on Ryan’s career is phenominal and will end up being worth the time apart…  Ryan has to do a short tour during his career and if he has to leave us for a year Isaac is the right age for it now! 

It is the best timing, the most logical choice, the best financial decision, the absolute best thing for our family…

It’s going to be HARD.

It’s going to take some time to process this… I might be absent a bit in coming days as we prepare to say goodbye as a family… We’re going to be fine… we’ll come through this stronger than ever… it’s what we do… it’s what we signed up for… this is our life… 

They are asking nothing less of us than we have already volunteered to give.

Pray for us?

Ryan & Courtney-5



24 thoughts on “The other shoe has dropped…

  1. Oh Courtney I’m so sorry you will have to be without him for so long! I just read where Obama was going to be getting all our troops out of afghanistan. Could this help him return sooner or is this why he is going to help everyone return…I know you can’t say too much. I’m so glad you have little one to help keep you company. I know it won’t be the same, but he will keep you busy. Also, glad you will get to go to Arizona where your family is. Why do they make some tours unaccompanied? Sorry so many questions! I will be praying for you and your family! I love your picture at the end… It’s so sweet and Isaac is so cute and serious! ((HUGS))

  2. @Allison Osborne Tomasek@facebook – Thank you so much for your words.  Ok to answer your questions…  Yes he’ll have a short time between the deployment and the tour in Turkey.  Isaac and I will join him back here in Tx to close up shop and pack our life away…   He will also get a 30 day mid tour somewhere in there and of course we hope to visit once too!  So we’ll have some time together…

  3. @sjpjminor – To answer your question as tactfully as I possible can… our great president has been moving troops out of Iraq for almost 3 years now and Ryan was slated for a deployment there last summer that was only curtailed because he cut his finger off.  We currently have 3 people in our office alone in Iraq…  The climate in Afghanistan is worse since the death of OBL and no matter what he says we’ll be there another 10 years.  Pretty much anything you hear about troop movements is nothing but political hot air until it’s already happening!  LOL  They make some tours unaccompanied because it’s less expensive then having a whole family there and he is being used for a focused position.  He won’t deploy from that location nor do anything but the mission there… so they put him there get one year hard work out of him and reward him and send him back to his family.  There are many locations that have these short tours…  No worries at all you can ask me anything you want and I’ll do my best to answer if I can.  And thank you for your words and prayers…

  4. I’m sorry. I can’t imagine how hard it will be to go without him during a deployment and a one year tour. I’m sure you’ll get through it though. I’m glad you have your family to help you. I think Turkey will be an awesome place to visit! Enjoy your time together.

  5. You know I’ll be praying for you & Isaac and for Ryan. It’ll be rough, but you guys rock and I know the Lord will protect you while you’re apart and give you strength. I love you and I’m here.

  6. Oh Courtney, I’m all choked up for you, your hubby, and sweet baby Isaac.  Thank you guys so much for the sacrifices you’re making to keep our country safe.  I’ll be praying hard for the 3 of you these next 21 months.  ❤

  7. Courtney–I will be praying so hard for you guys!!!!!  What a huge sacrifice you are making for all of us!  Ben never deployed while we were married.  We had a “cushy” shore duty for 5 years and then he separated.  I freaked at the thought of him leaving and he felt it was time to get out.  ((hugs))

  8. That stinks about the troop movement! It’s aggravating he could just say that and not mean it!  I remember his finger but didn’t know or forgot it kept him from going. Like I’ve told you before…I think you are a strong strong woman! I will be praying and if there is anything you need or ever close to Arkansas just give me a call!

  9. I honestly don’t know how military families do it!! You all have my respect, I am so thankful that you’re willing to sacrifice your time together so that Ryan can defend our country. Thank you SO MUCH!! I will be praying for your family. I hope you have some sweet time together before Ryan has to leave. I agree that it is a good time in Isaac’s life for Ryan to be gone & it sounds like it will benefit your family GREATLY for him to be gone, but I’m sure that doesn’t make it any less hard. I’m thankful you’ll have a home base in Arizona with your family. I’m praying that everything works out smoothly & that God’s hand of protection is upon Ryan. *hugs*

  10. I cannot imagine doing this, living this kind of life.  I appreciate Ryan’s service SO much!!!  It is a gift to people like us who are not in the forces.  I will definitely be praying for you, Courtney. 

  11. Oh my goodness, so much to process. First things first. As we were texting yesterday, Lucas was with me and we got to talking about what was going on, and about what is going to happen next. And he said, and I quote, ” Please have Courtney tell ‘Uncle’ Ryan that I highly respect him. I would be scared s**tless if I was him. I have Mad respect for the man.”So, tell Ryan that, and tell him thank you for me for the role modal he is becoming for my son. Second, that completely sucks about you not being able to go with him. But it’s pretty awesome for us that you’re coming home while he’s gone. I assume you’ll be staying in the Casita for the first part, but will you said the Air Force will be moving you home for the second part. Does that mean back to the base, or will you be renting? I know a great place where there are townhomes for rent! hint hint….However this all eventually plays out, know that we Love you both so much, and ours prayers are constant.

  12. Oh … wow, Court.  Wow, wow, wow.  I don’t think I could do this and be as strong as you guys are.  But I KNOW if anyone can do this, it’s Mr. and Mrs. Laube.  Without a doubt.  But that doesn’t lessen the sting.  I’ll definitely be praying for you guys throughout this .. “adventure.”Oh, how I appreciate Ryan and his service to our country.  Especially knowing it means this.Love you.

  13. @sulimb – Seriously lady I almost just deleted your comment!!!  I relayed your and Lucas’s messages to Ryan and he’s pretty much dumbstruck and says you’re welcome…  As far as where I’ll be living so far I’m thinking casita and cabin the whole time as long as it works out just because my stuff goes into storage and I’d hate to have to buy or rent furniture but we’ll see… what do you pay there because that would be a nice option!?

  14. @fallensparrow – It’s high 700’s to low 800’s depending on demand and on how many floors you want. The one stories are higher because they have approx, 100 feet more per square inch and the kitchens are huge. You’ve seen mine? It’s laid out exactly like mine but with twice the cabinet and counter space. You would lust after the kitchen if you saw it!. We could take a tour of one when you get here if they have one available to see. Just for fun!FYI…the cabin is too far. You need to be down here where we can get to you in case you need us, like for babysitting (yes, I would!) and lunches out with the girls. No independent living while you’re home missy! LOLOh, and it’s the google toolbar that has spell check, not yahoo. My bad…

  15. WOW. This is huge, and so hard. You’re right; both the deployment and the one year unaccompanied are going to be HUGE boons to his career. Huge. But that doesn’t make this any easier in the day-to-day living. My dad did a year unaccompanied when I was 5-6 and my brothers started out as 7, 2 and 6mos. It was terribly hard on my older brother, but my little brothers really rolled with it. I he has to go, I guess now is the time. Skype will be your best friend. I thought spouses could tag along on the Turkey assignments? Our priest went and he loved it. You got my prayers, friend.(Oh, and thank you for the good Op Sec. Most spouses at Laughlin don’t get it.)

  16. @BigToePeople – Spouses can go to Turkey if it’s Incerlik… but Izmir does not have the facilities… I guess it’s a short tour only base.  We can visit for a short amount of time but not stay there with him and because of turkey’s visa laws we couldn’t even choose to just live on the economy if that was something I was interested in doing.  Bummer.No worries about OPSEC!  I hear you and I’m a big stickler for it especially after Germany… I’ve actually found myself mentoring several new wives about it in the past few months…  It’s no joke no matter how dumb it sounds.  With todays social media… every wife just needs to say one thing and the whole truth will be up for grabs!  We are a body…  and whether we like it or not we all work together… 

  17. @sulimb – Thanks for the info!  I’ll have to stay with mom and dad for this six month deployment because I won’t make the BAH and everything so we’ll call this a trial run and see how it goes… if we all decide it’s better if I have my own place you can believe I’ll be heading your way to take a look see!  Sounds amazing!

  18. @fallensparrow – Yay for you mentoring people in opsec. I brought it up a few times at  spouse events and got shot down. Once, one of the husbands brought it up to me after I brought it up with the spouses and he told me to stop worrying about it because people were discussing one guy deploying, not a whole unit. I knew he was wrong, but let it go. I brought it up to Steve, and he said that husband was from a unit that didn’t do things like the SpecOps units I was used to being around, so the husband was lax and his wife was clueless. Anyway, I brought it up to the DO’s wife who ran the spouse group (the CO’s spouse was also a CO) who was once active duty intel who specialized in OpSec. Like she monitored military communications to make sure they weren’t messing up. And I told her I thought we ought to brief the group on OpSec. And SHE said she wasn’t comfortable doing that now that she’s not in an official capacity. I was disgusted. So we were going to send these spouses out to the greater Air Force after being at a training base, and they were going to continue their soccer mom gossip about deployments and such. Gah! Sorry, just so very, very happy you’re mentoring on the topic.Sorry about the visiting junk in Turkey. I hope you can go visit for that short time at least.

  19. @BigToePeople – Exactly!  I’ve been at a base in the real world where we lost guys because of what they or their significan other said on Facebook!  I’m sorry if it’s inconvienent and you want to talk to your mom about when he’s leaving but don’t you want him to come home!?  Just because we’re in podunk texas it does not mean that there is any less danger to your husband in a war zone.  The enemy doesn’t care where YOU are living he just cares where your man is.  It’s stupid and careless and I hate that… so any new wives that come my way I have a come to Jesus with them and get them good and scared about how things can go down… then I throw in that their husband could lose a stripe if they are found violating opsec and that usually gets through.  🙂

  20. @fallensparrow – YOu’re awesme. We need more of you sprinkled throughout the AF. The one that upset me the most was the hotmail (can you say PUBLIC CONVERSATION) prayer request sent to the spouse’s entire disti list saying to pray because her husband might deploy. He’d go on this date, to this place, get there on this route, with this many other men, and do this kind of mission and return approximately xyz. I could have screamed…so even if her hubby didn’t go, all the other hubbies going would get sabotaged. UGH.

  21. @fallensparrow – Thank you and Isaac and Ryan for all you do and for serving our country the way you do. It’s really an honor knowing you and I’m glad we’re still in touch.OH, and no where near what you guys are going through, but Frodo can use prayer.I just got back from the vet with him. We thought he had a wart on his chin. It started maybe 2 1/2 or 3 weeks ago as a little white spot. It’s been growing ever since. I looked it up online, it looked like a dog wart, so I wasn’t too worried. Still, I wanted the vet to verify that.  It hasn’t bothered him at all. He doesn’t try to rub it or anything. I wanted to take him in last week, but then we had to leave Wednesday for Steve’s TDY in ABQ and then Steve’s dental surgery. I got caught up in my job hunt and my cell phone replacement and my to-do list on Tues and didn’t call for an appt until Wednesday this week. The soonest appt they had with the vet Frodo likes was this morning. Frodo has a tumor.  Not the fatty old-age kind. There was a name the vet gave, but I didn’t get it. There are 3 kinds of this kind of tumors it can be. The benign kind usually runs its course and starts shrinking after 2-3 weeks. This one is nearly 3wks old and still growing. The other two kinds are aggressive. Frodo’s tumor scabbed over, and the vet said that means his body is trying to fight it. He cleared his schedule Monday morning and it will be surgically removed. They’ll test the cells in it to check the type of problem in the cells and we just hope that it hasn’t introduced these evil cells into the rest of his body. He won’t be under general anesthesia. Just local sort of like dental surgery and something to make him woozy. They’ll cut it off and cauterize the area. He might have a stitch in his chin afterwards, but won’t have to wear the “cone of shame.” I’m a little bit shaken by the news, despite how calm and kind the vet was in delivering the diagnosis. I thought I was just verifying a wart.

  22. I’ll definitely be saying a prayer for him.  I know all too well the shock of getting news from a vet you just did not expect!  I still am realing after the loss of Gandalf… that was so unexpected… I thought maybe arthritus… a pill and he would be fine.  I’m praying for you and for him that they get it all and that it’s not as bad as they fear and that you have many years left with him!  We’ve talked and you and I see eye to eye on our furbabies!  Don’t ever appologize for asking for prayer for one of them!  Keep me informed!

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